After Sad ‘Neerja’, Kasbekar Wants To Make Happy Films



Celebrated photographer Atul Kasbekar is happy with the pressure coming in after his successful foray into film production with “Neerja”. He says he now wants to spread happiness and joy with his upcoming projects.

Kasbekar’s debut production venture “Neerja” told a powerful real life story of Neerja Bhanot, an airhostess who lost her life while saving others on a hijacked plane.

“We are working on ‘Tumhari Sulu’. It goes on floors in April and we are hoping to release it in December. Apart from that, we are working on seven or eight scripts. But I am happy about the pressure,” Kasbekar told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Kasbekar, who has photographed models for Kingfisher Calendar 2017, shared that after the success of the film, he sat with the team and did some introspection.

“After ‘Neerja’ was successful, what we did was discuss. We revisited everything… All of us worked very hard to make sure that the story was terrific. At the script level also, we knew that it was a great story. So, it is important that we strive for the same,” he said, adding that all his future projects look good “at least in paper”.

Directed by Ram Madhvani and produced by Fox Star Studios and Bling Unplugged, “Neerja” featured Sonam Kapoor in the lead. She essayed the late valiant flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who lost her life while saving others on a hijacked Pan Am plane at Karachi.

The film was lauded for its effective storyline, and garnered plaudits from all quarters. In fact, Sonam won the Critics’ Award For Best Actor (Female) for her performance in “Neerja” at the 62nd Jio Filmfare Awards here on Saturday night.

Kasbekar said he wants people to leave the theatre with a smile on their face.

He said: “‘Tumhari Sulu’ is an urban comedy… We thought that the last time we made people cry, now we will send everyone back laughing. I didn’t even know what to say when people came up to me and said ‘What a lovely film it was’ or told me how much they cried. I didn’t know whether to say ‘yes’ or should I say, ‘Oh, I am sorry that you cried’. I want people to come out and be happy.”

Actress Vidya Balan will be seen as a radio jockey (RJ) named Sulochana, fondly known as Sulu, in “Tumhari Sulu”, which is co-produced by T-Series. It will be directed by Suresh Triveni.